Fri 09 December 2011

Free-media vs LocalContacts: what is the difference?

Posted by ankur in Tech (345 words, approximately a 2 minute read)

In my recent attempt to revive the LocalContacts program, and with the responses I've received, I've noticed that a lot of people are unsure of the distinctions between the free-media and LocalContact programs. This blog post is an attempt at clarifying the two.

The Fedora free-media Program

If you **sign up** to volunteer for this program, you get added to the "free-media" group in the FAS and have access to the free-media trac. The trac is the infra that Susmit and the other free-media leads set up to make it easier for contributors to handle the vast number of tickets that come in every month.

In the free-media program, when you accept a ticket, you burn the media, buy the envelop, send it, all out of your own pocket.


The LocalContacts is also aimed at making fedora media more easily available to people. There may be people in the same city, or even the same apartment as an ambassador's (lets call him Angus),  who'd like to use fedora (lets say  David wants media). It isn't practical for someone from the other side of the country (lets call him Stephen ) to post these people media under the free-media program, when the David can meet Angus and get media burnt. There are quite a few advantages of this scheme over the free-media program:

  • Promotes interaction between David and Angus. In the free-media program, you send media out, and it ends there. You don't meet physically, there is no feedback, nothing.
  • More cost effective. It costs Stephen almost 50INR per ticket serviced at the free-media program. When the David gets media from Angus in person, David incurs the cost of media. Also note that here, there is a total of INR $price_of_DVD spent in the Local Contacts program. In the free-media program, the INR spent would be ($price_of_DVD + $price_of_envelope + $price_of_postage).

It was my understanding that a Fedora Ambassador is by default a LocalContact. Therefore, a separate scheme was not required. However, over the last few weeks, this understanding has changed.